Not to be missed

FullSizeRender (61)

This take from the Dick Nixon Twitter feed is so great.

New Berkshire Hathaway annual letter

New Berkshire Hathaway annual letter is out.  I love to read this thing every year.  If Warren Buffett weren’t busy running a 362 billion dollar company he would be a very talented business writer.

He’s funny, compelling, a calm and sunny optimist, and thoughtful about dimensions beyond the monetary, one of the great American characters alive.  Here are some highlights if you are too busy to read:

FullSizeRender (50)

FullSizeRender (51)

Some common sense social policy:

IMG_3084 (1)

About rail cars:

FullSizeRender (54)


A brief history of auto insurance in the United States:

FullSizeRender (55)

Advice:FullSizeRender (56)

A non-apology for GEICO advertising:

FullSizeRender (60)

Discussion of the realities of economic change on people’s lives:

FullSizeRender (57)

Here is the scariest part, a warning about cyber, biological, nuclear or chemical attack on the USA:

IMG_3091 (1)

Damn I hope I have the time to make it to the annual meeting:FullSizeRender (58)

If I make it to Omaha I would like to challenge Ariel Hsing at table tennis:FullSizeRender (59)

We’re not gonna be the dummies anymore, folks

At the beginning you hear the response part of the call and response to “Who’s gonna built that wall?”  “MEXICO!”  Then:

Here a protestor (you can see him in the aisle to Trump’s right, holding a sign that says “VETERANS TO MR. TRUMP END HATE SPEECH AGAINST MUSLIMS” and he leaves peacefully:

and this is right after a protestor was led out by police:

The aftermath:


How To Debate Donald Trump

They think we’re kidding too, don’t they folks?  We’re not kidding.  We’re not kidding.

-Donald J. Trump

That’s more or less exactly what I wondered.  Is this guy kidding?  Are the people who are voting for him kidding?  I wanted to go to a rally and see what this was all about.  A pal is a reporter on the campaign and encouraged me to see it for myself, saying, basically, you won’t believe it.  

Best chance to do it from the West Coast would be in Las Vegas, on Monday before the Nevada primary.  Poking around on the Trump website I saw a form to apply for media credentials.  So I did that.  All they asked really is what outlet I worked for —  Great Debates News.

The rest of this post will be going out shortly to Helytimes Premium and Great Debates News subscribers.  Subscribe to Great Debates News here.   Subscribe to Helytimes Premium by emailing me.  

Helytimes Premium subscribers: sorry for the typo, can you imagine my embarrassment?  Sentence should read: “admiring what Ann Friedman and Ryan Holiday were doing with their newsletters.”

How to pronounce Broad


If you are on Instagram in LA you have seen probably six hundred pictures of The Broad art museum downtown.

inside broad

How did Broad get so rich?  “Moving money around,” was my guess. Part right: he started a homebuilding company, KB Home, and then when that was up and going he started another company, SunAmerica, for retirement savings / mutual funds.  Learning this from the man’s book:


which also gives a final answer on how to pronounce the name:

FullSizeRender (21)

To summarize: everybody has to say it weird because he didn’t like getting teased as a boy.

(photos of the Broad yanked right off LA Curbed)

When did JFK’s soul go to Heaven?

Doing some research for a Kennedy-related project, came across this interview with Father Oscar Huber, Dallas priest who ended up giving JFK last rites:

FullSizeRender (17)

FullSizeRender (18)

FullSizeRender (19)

FullSizeRender (20)

Sounds like he was all good!

I’ve spent hours and hours combing the JFK Oral Histories at the Kennedy Library website, and the best thing I’ve found is this one, from Massachusetts Democratic operative and Harvard prof Samuel Beer, interviewed long after the fact.  Here he’s talking about Adlai Stevenson and Kennedy’s lady game:




Best things about this video

  • fave activity is “to take a little nap”
  • “she’s a jokester”
  • around 2:46 the woman describing her like she’s a zoo animal.  “It was a new experience for her.  She was scared, honestly, but she acclimated very quickly.”

ht: Davis.

Death Valley Days


Death Valley Days ran for 18 seasons and 452 (!) episodes.

You can’t top Death Valley for place names.  Just reading the map is a pleasure.


But hey, the map is not the territory.  So the boys and I went out to have a look:


Things aren’t what they used to be in old Chloride City:


IMG_2409  IMG_2431

Just as well I didn’t know what these mountains were called.

FullSizeRender (26)


On to Titus Canyon:


Rendezvous in the twilight:  IMG_2457  IMG_2452


Morning at camp:  IMG_2486

Ever since I heard about the sailing stones I’ve wanted to see the Racetrack:

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 2.50.09 PM

Not the easiest trip.


Let’s go have a look:


Bobby will do whatever it takes to get the shot:

IMG_2541 IMG_2588  IMG_2599


These guys have a long walk ahead:


Keep going lil buddy!:


(is there anything so human as “rooting” for a rock in its meaningless decades-long journey across a dry lake bed?)

How about the crater?:



“Let’s drive down the old Lippincott Mine road!”

IMG_2763  IMG_2647  IMG_2657



Shoutout to the rad Tom Harrison map of Death Valley.

Stirring clip from Death Valley Days: